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Robert Woolsey, KCAW - Sitka

Robert Woolsey is a reporter at KCAW in Sitka.

How Can We Improve Our Food Security?

The reliability of the food supply is not something most communities devote much thought to. Agriculture, transportation, and grocery stores all work pretty well – even in relatively isolated parts of Alaska like Sitka. And depending on where you live, there can be abundant wild foods. But a recent report called “The Sitka Community Food Assessment” reveals that our food system is vulnerable – especially to the unpredictable costs of fuel. Lisa Sadleir-Hart coordinated the assessment about what Sitka – and communities like it – can do to become more food-secure.

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April 29, 2014
SMR captain Don Kluting describes sea conditions at Low Island Monday morning as “a bit sporty.” Crew members left the Mirage on foot, once the tide ebbed. (SMR photo/Don Kluting)

Two Rescued As Troller Goes Aground In Heavy Surf

Two crewmen were rescued safely after their troller ran aground in heavy seas in Sitka Sound early Monday morning. The 52-foot steel-hulled troller Mirage radioed a distress call at about 3:30 AM. The boat had gone aground on the southern shore of Low Island, in surf and strong winds.

April 22, 2014
Gasline Official Says In-State Project Is No Pipedream

Gasline Official Says In-State Project Is No Pipedream

With an oversupply of natural gas in the country, Alaska is exploring the construction of a relatively small, low-pressure gasline within the state’s borders – while still holding out hope for a much larger project should prices improve.

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April 21, 2014
Metlakatla Science teacher Jason Pipkin watches as the printer creates metric screws for a quadcopter his students are building. (KCAW photo/Robert Woolsey)

Where No Shop Class Has Gone Before

This is not your grandfather’s shop class. Late last month a group of high school and college shop teachers and a few of their students gathered for a three-day workshop in Sitka’s state-of-the-art Design and Fabrication Lab. The use of 3D printers and other computer-controlled equipment has revolutionized shop, and turned one of the most remote classrooms in the building into the coolest place in school.

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April 9, 2014

Herring Seiners Hit Target – And Then Some – In Quick Saturday Opener

The 2014 Sitka Sound sac roe herring fishery is over. The 48 permit holders caught the last remaining fish in this year’s harvest limit – and then some – in a wild 45-minute opener Saturday afternoon right in front of downtown Sitka.

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March 31, 2014
Sitka senior Thor Becker tests out a special drill bit to raise the gym's basketball hoops. Photo by Robert Woolsey, KCAW - Sitka.

AK: Machine Shop

Manufacturing – like everything else – is becoming more computerized, but instead of replacing craftsmanship, digital technology is opening up possibilities for students to create things in ways that simply weren’t practical five or ten years ago. Three kids at Sitka High School are building a tool – really just a customized piece of metal – to do an unsung, but important, job in the community. And their collaboration points toward a future where we’ll make stuff differently.

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March 14, 2014
Where glacial ice has most recently retreated, Glacier Bay’s bears rely on the intertidal area for food. Photo by Tania Lewis.

Glacier Bay’s Bears A Remnant Of The Ice Age

Brown bears are one of the most intensively-studied species in Southeast Alaska. Much of the focus is on population management for hunting. But one scientist studies bears for their sake and not ours. Tania Lewis is the terrestrial wildlife biologist at Glacier Bay National Park. She’s made some breakthroughs in both behavior and genetics, and she can’t help but sing about it.

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February 26, 2014
Sitka Teacher Wins White House Award

Sitka Teacher Wins White House Award

A Sitka educator has won a Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science. Rebecca Himschoot teaches science at Keet Gooshi Heen Elementary. She’s one of two Alaskan teachers honored by the White House this year, and one of only 102 teachers nationwide who receive the recognition, which includes a $10,000 cash prize from the National Science Foundation. Amy Laufer, a math teacher at Kasuun Elementary in Anchorage, also won the award.

January 6, 2014

Sitka Moorage Fee Hike Takes Effect Jan. 1

Moorage rates in Sitka’s harbors are going up next week. The Sitka assembly last night approved the rate hike on second reading, bumping the per-foot monthly charge for permanent berths from $2.64 to $2.80, an increase of a little over 6 percent effective New Year’s Day.

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December 26, 2013
Mitch McGraw’s 31-foot Almar sustained an estimated $30,000 damage in the crash, according to state Troopers. Photo by Don Kluting, SMR.

Two Sitka Hunters Injured As Boat Strikes Cliff

Two Sitka hunters sustained serious injuries Tuesday evening, after their boat struck a cliff in Kakul Narrows, about 25 miles north of town. Both men have been hospitalized, one in Seattle.

December 19, 2013
Photo by Robert Woolsey, KCAW - Sitka.

AK: Banding Birds

Alaska has its share of big science projects, to be sure. But to get results, science doesn’t always have to be huge.
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November 29, 2013

Sitka Urges Governor To Accept Obama’s Medicaid Plan

Several organizations around the state have recently asked Governor Parnell to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, including the Anchorage NAACP, the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce and the Alaska Chamber.

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November 13, 2013

Sitka Fish Processor Recalls Two Years’ Worth Of Product

A Sitka seafood processor has recalled two-year’s worth of product, after a state inspection revealed that monitoring equipment had failed.

October 7, 2013

SAFV Tackles Domestic Violence Crisis With Community Training

The domestic violence shelter in Sitka is stepping up its community training program following the release of new survey data last year. SAFV, or Sitkans Against Family Violence, has routinely offered volunteer advocate training, but now the organization is hoping to involve more of the community in how to recognize – and address – Sitka’s incredibly high rate of intimate partner violence.

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September 6, 2013
As Stream Levels Drop, Salmon Die Before Spawning

As Stream Levels Drop, Salmon Die Before Spawning

Some rainfall over the weekend may have eased a looming crisis for pink salmon stocks in Southeast Alaska. The summer’s fine weather and record salmon runs have both made headlines – but they’re a recipe for trouble without enough water in rivers and streams for fish to spawn.

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September 4, 2013
Greens Creek Mine Looks For More Space

Greens Creek Mine Looks For More Space

The Greens Creek mine on Admiralty Island might have to shut down in 2016, unless it can find more room to dispose of its spent ore.

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September 3, 2013
Tenakee School students head out in the field with Forest Service biologists in 2011. The school’s closure in 2013 means the loss of six jobs, including hot lunch cooks, maintenance, custodial, and two teacher’s aides. (SCS photo/Scott Harris)

Tenakee Residents Search For Way To Reopen School

The Tenakee School has been closed for this year, but residents of the Chichagof Island community hope to turn things around for the next.

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August 14, 2013

AK: Doves

One of the most rapid and successful invasions of a continent did not happen in any war. It’s happening now – maybe right outside your window. The Eurasian collared dove first came to North America in Florida in 1982, and was seen in Alaska as early as 2009. Experts say the dove represents no threat to the environment or native species. But it is changing how Alaska sounds.

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August 9, 2013
‘Little’ Redoubt Lake A Boon To Sockeye?

‘Little’ Redoubt Lake A Boon To Sockeye?

The U.S. Forest Service believes fish populations in Redoubt Lake near Sitka survived last month’s devastating landslide unharmed.

June 7, 2013
Couple Escapes As Landslide Destroys Cabin

Couple Escapes As Landslide Destroys Cabin

Two people are safe after a massive landslide destroyed the cabin they were camping in Sunday morning near Sitka. An air taxi pilot rescued the pair from a debris field estimated to be 20 feet deep. All their belongings were buried in the slide. Their dog remains missing.

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May 13, 2013